A divorce means the end of the marital community and, in Kansas, as in other states, the property belonging to that community must be divided between the spouses. Kansas courts generally divide marital property equally between the spouses, but before any division can be made, the present value of the property must be established.
Property Division in Kansas
Under Kansas law, all property of both spouses becomes marital property subject to division when a divorce is filed. In practice, Kansas courts generally treat property a spouse brought into the marriage as that spouse's separate property, and divide only the property acquired during the marriage. The present value of marital property -- the value of the asset as of the time of the divorce -- must be established before division takes place.
Present value is a term of art in Kansas law that incorporates the potential future value of property. Some property has a clear present value, such as bank accounts or real estate. But money that may be received in the future has a lower present value than the same amount of money in the bank. Figuring out the present value of future benefits, like retirement pensions, is a job for an accountant. Future benefits must be reduced to their present value by taking into account many factors, including the receiving spouse's life expectancy and the possibility that he may die before receiving the pension.